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Review

Mortality in Different Mountain Sports Activities Primarily Practiced in the Winter Season—A Narrative Review

1
Department of Sport Science, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
2
Institute of Mountain Emergency Medicine, EURAC Research, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
3
Center for Teaching Methodology, Pedagogical University Tyrol, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
4
Austrian Society for Alpine and High-Altitude Medicine, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
5
Laboratory of Molecular and Chemical Biology of Neurodegeneration, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010259
Received: 14 November 2019 / Revised: 19 December 2019 / Accepted: 20 December 2019 / Published: 30 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mountain Sports Activities: Injuries and Prevention)
Annually, millions of people engage in mountain sports activities all over the world. These activities are associated with health benefits, but concurrently with a risk for injury and death. Knowledge on death rates is considered important for the categorization of high-risk sports in literature and for the development of effective preventive measures. The death risk has been reported to vary across different mountain sports primarily practiced in the summer season. To complete the spectrum, the aim of the present review is to compare mortality rates across different mountain sports activities primarily practiced in winter. A comprehensive literature search was performed on the death risk (mortality) during such activities, i.e., alpine (downhill) skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, ski touring, and sledging. With the exception of ski touring (4.4 deaths per 1 million exposure days), the mortality risk was low across different winter sports, with small activity-specific variation (0.3–0.8 deaths per 1 million exposure days). Traumatic (e.g., falls) and non-traumatic (e.g., cardiac death) incidents and avalanche burial in ski tourers were the predominant causes of death. Preventive measures include the improvement of sport-specific skills and fitness, the use of protective gear, well-targeted and intensive training programs concerning avalanche hazards, and sports-medical counseling for elderly and those with pre-existing diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: mountain sports; risk; mortality; death risk; alpine skiing; snowboarding; cross-country skiing; ski touring; sledging mountain sports; risk; mortality; death risk; alpine skiing; snowboarding; cross-country skiing; ski touring; sledging
MDPI and ACS Style

Niedermeier, M.; Gatterer, H.; Pocecco, E.; Frühauf, A.; Faulhaber, M.; Menz, V.; Burtscher, J.; Posch, M.; Ruedl, G.; Burtscher, M. Mortality in Different Mountain Sports Activities Primarily Practiced in the Winter Season—A Narrative Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 259. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010259

AMA Style

Niedermeier M, Gatterer H, Pocecco E, Frühauf A, Faulhaber M, Menz V, Burtscher J, Posch M, Ruedl G, Burtscher M. Mortality in Different Mountain Sports Activities Primarily Practiced in the Winter Season—A Narrative Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(1):259. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010259

Chicago/Turabian Style

Niedermeier, Martin, Hannes Gatterer, Elena Pocecco, Anika Frühauf, Martin Faulhaber, Verena Menz, Johannes Burtscher, Markus Posch, Gerhard Ruedl, and Martin Burtscher. 2020. "Mortality in Different Mountain Sports Activities Primarily Practiced in the Winter Season—A Narrative Review" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 1: 259. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010259

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